Like I said in Friday’s post, I did some teaching last week in the DTS. Orientation week is set aside for us to get to know the students, but also so they can get to know us. We talk about our core values and philosophy of ministry so they can better understand these crazy people they are spending the next 5 months with!
One afternoon I taught on hospitality, this being a HUGE core value to us personally and to our ministry. Did you know the Greek word for hospitality, philoxenia, literally means “love of strangers?” Here are some points I hit on during my teaching on why we should be hospitable and the scriptures I used to back it up:
- God commands it. (Romans 12:9-13, Hebrews 13:2)
- It’s a quality of the saints. (1 Tim. 3:2, 1 Tim. 5:9-10, Titus 1:7-9)
- It’s an act of discipleship to others. (Matthew 25:34-40)
- Because people are valuable. (John 3:16-17)
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is found in Luke 7:44-47 where Jesus was greeted by a woman who kissed his feet, anointed His head with oil, and poured perfume on Him. It’s easy to provide the practical…food, housing, water. But I think what Jesus was blessed by was her heart to welcome Him. And it came through in her actions.
That’s our goal for us personally as a family and as a ministry. That when new people come in, they would feel welcome. That they wouldn’t feel a burden or unwanted but that they would feel a spirit of hospitality.
The other day we had some of our short-termers over. One of them said, “This place is so hospitable!” We asked her why she said that. “Because you invite us into your homes, have us over for dinner.” I guess all of our staff have invited them over…just because they wanted to. That blessed our hearts so much!
I encourage you to go here and read about the famous hotel, The Waldorf Astoria. Although it’s highly likely that some of the facts have been embellished over time, it’s still a great story of hospitality from the heart.